Carrie still couldn't believe that she was back in Salem. It seemed like only yesterday that she and Austin had flew to New York to start a new life together. They had been happy there, able to have a fresh start. And then they got the call. Her mother Anna, had phoned her and asked her to come home to reconcile. No, not asked. Begged. At first Carrie adamantly refused. Why should she give another chance to a woman who was only a mother by blood? What good would it do to try the process of forgiving and letting down her guard again if Anna was just going to run away to the richest guy she could find as soon as she was given the chance? Besides, Marlena was the only mother that she knew anymore, and she loved her very much.
No, she wouldn't go.
Only Austin managed to convince her to change her mind. The only one who could see past her stubbornness and make her realize that family is family. Especially on the holidays. So she caved and called Anna to make tentative plans. Swallowing her pride was hard, but she did it. For Austin.
Grabbing her luggage from the carousel, she walked out to a cab and set a course for the past.
"Where you going miss?"
She hopped into the big rig that had kindly pulled over for her and took a deep breath, embracing the warmth of the heater. "Salem. If you don't mind."
"Sure thing. I go through there on my route." He looked at her with lust in his eyes, but she was too preoccupied with her own thoughts to even notice. She thought of her father. And of his wife. Stepmother to her of course, but just thought of calling her "mommy" made her blood boil. She made a tight fist and squeezed so hard that she drew blood.
They rode in silence for some time, when he asked: "You going home for the holidays?"
"Yeah, you could say that."
"I bet your family is gonna be happy to see you."
She laughed. "I'm not so sure. Believe me, if you only knew."
He shrugged. "Well, family comes first on the holidays," he replied. She glanced over at him and saw him looking down her shirt.
"Hey buddy, the road's that way."
He grew flushed and turned back to the highway, riding in silence for a little while longer. "By the way, name's Jake."
"Eve", she announced. "Eve Donovan."
“Kimberly darling, are you ready?”
Shane adjusted his tie in the mirror in the foyer after calling up to his wife. Butterflies took control of his stomach. Why was he so nervous? Its not like he’s never had an anniversary before with Kim. They had many years ago, before they separated.
He closed his eyes and tried to forget that horrible time in his life. The time he chose his work over his family. Losing them was the hardest thing he ever had to endure, and he refused to let it happen again. Kim coming back to town two years ago was by chance, but he knew that he had to jump at it. He never stopped loving her. She was his soul mate.
“Don’t you think the tie is on tight enough?”
Shane turned to see Kim and she took his breath away. Simply stunning in a black cocktail dress. “You..you look..gorgeous.” He suddenly felt like a virgin on prom night, and blushed.
“Well well, looks like my job is done,” she joked, pulling him toward her in a kiss. “Happy Anniversary, Shane”.
“You too, darling. I love you.”
They locked lips again.
En route to Anna and Tony’s penthouse, Carrie passed by the park. Suddenly memories flooded back to her, and her heart in her throat. So much happened here that she would take with her forever. Good and bad.
Mom can wait a little while longer, she decided, and told the cab driver to pull over.
“Wait here for a few minutes will you? I won’t be long.”
“Sure thing, lady.”
The wind was frigid and uninviting. She pulled her coat tighter and made her way down the path. On the way she spied rollerbladers trying to best the speed record and mothers tending to their stroller bound children.
She smiled. She had Austin had been trying for a while now. No luck yet, but she retained hope.
In the distant, she saw the swingset.
She closed her eyes and Instantly she flashed back to the days of her courtship with Austin. The nights that he pushed her for hours on these very swings before pulling her into his arms. She felt so safe in his arms.
Upon opening her eyes again she saw that she had seated herself on that swing, and was rocking back and forth gently.
Carrie sat there for what seemed like forever. She knew that she was just trying to put off going to see her mother. It had been years. They were practically strangers. That’s why she didn’t understand her mother’s sudden need to be back in her life.
“What are you up to now?” she muttered to her absentee mother. “What scheme do you want to pull me into?”
Sighing, she decided that she had stalled long enough. Time to face the music.
Halfway down the path, her cell phone rang. She looked down to see it was Austin.
Before she could pick up the phone, Carrie collided with someone and fell back to the ground.
Crying out in embarrassment more than pain, she looked up.
That’s when it felt like the world around her ceased to exist.
“Oh my god,” she gasped. “It can’t be.”
Kim and Shane arrived at Tuscany and were greeted by Maggie.
“Happy Anniversary!” she beamed, greeting both of them with a hug. “I have your table all set up with champagne on ice. On the house.”
“Maggie, you shouldn’t have,” Kim insisted.
“Nonsense, I’m glad to do this for you two.” She walked them to their table and gave them menus. “Let me know if you need anything else.”
“Thanks again Maggie.” Shane winked at his wife. “That woman is a gem.”
Kim smiled. “She’s the best. But you know…” she pulled her chair closer to him. “you’re not so bad yourself.”
They exchanged another heartfelt kiss.
Kim pulled back with a smile and as Shane perused the menu, she couldn’t help but gaze at him.
Never in a million years would she have guessed that a reunion between them was possible. Not after their painful breakup years ago.
But things change over time, she reasoned. Fate always brings those meant to be together back again. And she would be damned if she was going to let him go ever again.
“Well my love, if you will excuse me, I’m going to powder my nose.”
“I’ll have champagne poured for you when you return,” he replied.
She was about to open the door to the restroom when she suddenly felt watched. On instinct, she spun around and saw her stepdaughter glaring at her from the corner. “Eve!”
“Hello, mommy. Did you miss me?”
“I uh, of course. How are you?”
Eve laughed. “Small talk? Please. We’re past that. You know why I’m back. I know Kim.”
Flustered, Kim feigned ignorance. “Know what? Honestly Eve, what are you talking about?”
“Don’t play games. I know what you did. And I know that you would do anything to keep my father from finding out.”
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some catching up to do with my dear daddy.” With that, Eve pushed past her and into the main dining room. She was just feet away from Shane, and just moments away from destroying Kim.
The fire crackled, causing the sound of splintering wood to echo throughout the room. The screaming winds roared like a banshee outside. They sat in a chair in darkness, the glow of flames reflecting off of their wine glasses. Behind them on the desk, pictures and files layed in disarray.
All of the information needed for all the ones that caused pain to them. Every last detail nailed down. Schedules, addresses, past misdeeds. Even their children’s medical records.
They smiled. The residents of Salem lived their lives like an open book. And that would be their gravest mistake. What they had in store for them would make them regret ever being born.
They finished off the wine and went to the bar for a refill. They passed by a mirror and caught a ghostly image of their own reflection. The scars. Oh god the scars. Caused by their actions. All of them. The Saints of Salem.
A rage filled them. It hardly caught them by surprise anymore. It happened far too many times to count.
It scared them, for it couldn’t be controlled.
“You freak,” they hissed at themselves, throwing the glass at the mirror, shattering the glass with a deafening blow.
“They will pay. Oh yes. They will pay….”
(FADE TO BLACK)